My mom often tells the story of when we first joined our family synagogue, when I was in second grade. We would go to Shabbat services on Saturday morning and I never actually stepped foot in the service. Instead, I ran around the lobby playing with my friends my age and supervising the toddlers (babysitting rules were a bit more lenient in the ‘90s!).
My parents never forced me to go into the service. They just wanted me to have fun in the synagogue, to have a positive association with the place. As legend goes, as I got older I would pop my head in for more and more of the service, until finally I was able to sit through the whole thing. Going to synagogue on Shabbat gave me a feeling of fun, friendship, and community.
Going to synagogue as a family, combined with family Shabbat dinners and attending Jewish school, solidified my involvement in the Jewish community from a very early age.
Now, here I am, mother of Serena, my three-month-old daughter. My husband and I have been immersing her into Judaism since her first week of life. Serena has attended Shabbat services, been to Jewish music classes (shoutout to Bim Bam Baby at Temple Jeremiah!), and attended many Shabbat meals.
One Shabbat dinner, the first time we had our whole family together, was particularly memorable. After we lit candles, we joined together as a family for the blessing of the children. My parents blessed my brother and me, and Adam and I blessed Serena. L’dor va’dor – from generation to generation.
Where am I? I’m in two loving Jewish families: the one I was born into and the one I am creating.
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